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ALBACORE FAILS TO RETURN TO HAL FAR
One Albacore has been reported missing after an air strike on a Libyan target last night by 828 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, based at Hal Far. Five Albacores carried out the successful night raid on the Italian Regia Aeronautica base at Castel Benito near Tripoli. Despite fierce enemy opposition, bombs were dropped among dispersal areas, destroying at least one aircraft and starting fires across the airfield. The pilot of the missing Albacore has been named as S/Lt Walshe; his observer is S/Lt Lewis.
SECOND NAVY STRIKE FORCE FOR MALTA
Allied intelligence has discovered that Rommel’s fuel stocks are fast running out. Seeing a real opportunity to cut off his supplies entirely, the Admiralty in London decides on an all out offensive against Axis convoys in the Mediterranean. Malta is now to be at the spearhead of that attack.
Already the base for Force “K”, Grand Harbour now sees the arrival of a second Strike Force “B” – including Ajax, Neptune, Kimberley and Kingston – carrying with them from Alexandria welcome supplies for Malta. The Island is now equipped with four cruisers and four destroyers.
As if on cue, Axis supply ships set out from various Italian ports heading for Libya, closely observed by Malta’s reconnaissance pilots.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 29 NOVEMBER TO DAWN 30 NOVEMBER 1941
1057-1106 hrs Air raid alarm. One recce Macchi crossed at great height.
1710-1728 hrs Air raid alarm. Two recce Macchi’s crossed at great height.
1937-1939 hrs Air raid.
Military casualty Sergeant George Tolcher, 1st Battalion The Hampshire Regiment.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 29 NOVEMBER 1941
ROYAL NAVY Force “B” arrives, consisting of HMS Ajax flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H B T Rawlings Commanding Seventh Cruiser Squadron, with Neptune, Kingston and Kimberley. Force “K” arrives.
AIR HQ Two Wellesleys headed in from Heliolopolis, one crashed in the sea; the crew was saved.
LUQA 0800-1127 hrs One Maryland 69 Squadron special search. 0815-1140 hrs One Maryland 69 Squadron SF 10 patrol. 0905-1030 hrs One Maryland 69 Squadron photo-reconnaissance Tripoli. Returned owing to bad weather. Two Blenheims 18 Squadron SF 11 patrol. Six Blenheims 107 Squadron attacked shipping in Navarino Harbour. One Wellington S/D Flight special shipping search. Ten Wellingtons 104 Squadron attacked administrative buildings at Benghazi.
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